Thursday, May 6, 2010

Goslings and Froglings

THE children and I have spent lots of time this month carrying out reconnaisance for ('reckying') my hash. It's my turn to lay trail in a few weeks, and it's prudent to know where you're going ahead of time. So we've spent many an afternoon driving around strange neighbourhoods and taking exploratory walks through interesting-looking pieces of wood, scrub or other 'shiggy'. (For more info on hashing, see .)

Some areas have not proved useful for this particular purpose. But they have provoked some great discoveries. For example, in an industrial park, we came across a beautiful pond. A mama and papa goose escorted six goslings around the grass in search of tasty tidbits. We found it interesting that the posse approached us (apparently used to being fed), but as soon as they got close, the parent birds started hissing. Why come close if they suspected danger? Also in the pond were turtles, and enormous tadpoles. They could only come from the bullfrog.

Bullfrog tadpoles can be up to 15 cm long! Bullfrogs spend one or sometimes two years in the tadpole stage, compared to just a few months for many other frog species. The tadpoles are very dark green – almost black – in colour, with an arrowhead-shaped body and a dorsal fin that begins behind the body. Never mind the hash; but we've been back a couple of times to visit the pond.
Photo: Jason Gibson

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